Toffee-Topped Apple, Banana and Brazil Nut Cake

If your ideal cake is light, airy and subtle, then this beauty may not suit you. But for the rest of us, it’s mega: big, sturdy, bold, dense in texture and flavour – and tons of nuts.  

Serves: 12

Time: 20 minutes prep then 90 minutes + cooling + 20 for layering & topping

Tins: 2 x 20cm/8” round, loose bottomed cake tins

Level: Quite easy

Credits: Adapted from a recipe in “Everyday Easy Cakes & Cupcakes”


For the cake

  • 180g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened + extra for greasing
  • 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 180g (6oz) light soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g (4½oz) Brazil nuts, chopped
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced small
  • ½ tsp mixed spices
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) Plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tbsp clear honey

For the filling

  • 70g butter
  • 180g mascarpone or full fat cream cheese or a mixture
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 50ml double cream
  • 1 tsp toffee or caramel flavouring (optional)

For the topping

  • 80g (2½oz) unsalted butter
  • 180g (6oz)  light brown soft sugar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp double cream
  • 75g (2½oz) Brazil nuts, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Grease the tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

2. Weigh the flour into a bowl and add the baking powder. Keep to hand.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, plus a tsp of the weighed flour with each one.

4. Stir in the Brazil nuts, bananas, apple and the spices. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the mixture. Add the yoghurt and honey then fold it all in gently with a large metal spoon.

5. Spoon or pour the mixture equally into the prepared tins and level with a spatula. Bake for about 65 – 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Check at 60 minutes)

6. Towards the end of the bake, turn the grill on and prepare the topping. Place the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan. Heat until simmering, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped Brazil nuts.

7. Spread this mixture evenly over the flatter cake, then place it under the hot grill for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the toffee mixture starts to bubble. Leave to cool completely in the tin.  

8. While the cakes are cooling, make the filling. Beat the butter lightly then add the cream cheese and beat further. Sift in the icing sugar and beat in. Add the cream and any flavouring and beat again.

9. When both cakes are cool, remove from the tins and assemble. Place one cake on a board or plate on a rotating cake icing device. Use a small crank-handled spatula to spread the filling evenly over the bottom cake. Carefully, place the toffee-topped cake on top. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to “firm up”.

Alternatively (if you have a chef’s blow torch):

6a. Make the filling while the cakes are cooling then layer them and place in fridge to firm up.

7. Make the topping and cover the cake. Carefully “blast it” with the blowtorch until bubbly. Job done.